Less than a month ago, I started working at XRC Labs, an accelerator focused on retail and consumer goods. I have no prior experience in start-ups and have never considered such an unpredictable environment, but I have surprised myself at my ability to create structure within this new world.
1. Titles don’t mean much…
In a power standpoint, but they contribute to defining your roles. The bigger question is, how do you define constantly shifting roles?
2. “I don’t know… what I don’t know…” but what am I doing about it?
There are three ways to go about this. One: “I can’t know everything.” Two: “I need you to tell me everything that’s going on.” Three: Take the time to be involved so you are aware of as much as you can.
3. Communication, communication, communication.
There is a reason #Slack is one of the most successful businesses in the start-up world. Any way that communication can be easy, simple, and clear is going to improve the way you work.
4. If it takes less than two minutes, do it on the spot.
Any more than two minutes and it becomes unproductive in your process.
5. Take the time to sit with each person and ask how they’re doing.
What else are you working on? What do you want to do? How are you? The answer is not as relevant. The point is to stimulate their minds with questions so they can assess where they are in relation to their work.
6. You are only as good as your team.
If you aren’t pulling your weight, or you don’t believe in the cause, you will soon lose your will in your work. Effort will become a burden if not driven by the right reasons.
7. Leadership can come in different forms.
As stated in Number 1, titles don’t mean much. When and where you step up comes naturally under pressure.
8. Be a teacher and a student.
Share your strengths, but be willing to learn about your weaknesses.
9. Speak up if you are unable to execute.
In the end, you are there to help companies reach their deliverables. If you are too afraid to say no and the task is not completed, you will disappoint yourself, but most importantly, the companies are the ones who will hurt.
10. Be yourself.
The start-up culture welcomes individuality because they are open to new ideas.